Incredibly rare original vintage glossy 2.5 x 3.5 snapshot of Bonnie Parker and Barrow Gang member Joe Palmer. Taken shortly before her death, the full-length photo shows Bonnie in a summer dress, seated on the fender of a car, with Palmer standing next to her wearing a light suit. Photo is identified on the reverse in an unknown hand, “Bonnie & Joe.” In very good condition, with some creases working in from the edges and a uniform shade of toning over most of the image.
On January 16, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde waited outside the Eastham prison to carry fellow gang members Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, and Joe Palmer to safety after the impending jailbreak that they had orchestrated. During the escape, Palmer shot and killed prison officer Major Crowson—an act that proved to be the final straw. Combined with the national negative publicity that the Texas prison system received for the breakout, the murder incited Prison Chief Lee Simmons to complain directly to Governor Ma Ferguson, bringing the full power of the Texas and federal governments to bear on the manhunt. It was this action that brought Frank Hamer out of retirement; persuaded to accept the assignment to hunt down the Barrow Gang, he formed the famous six-man posse that would carry out the final ambush just four months later. This photo, taken during the short period between the jailbreak and the ambush, is one of the last images of both Parker and Palmer, who was caught and executed in May the following year. RR Auction COA.